Steve Yankee, having spent 38 of his 45-year-long teaching career working with students at the university level, is an excellent guitar instructor for intermediate and advanced students ranging from teens to adults. He is particularly adept at working with those students who feel they have reached a plateau in their studies. By organizing what they already know and then filling in the gaps, he helps them further their studies so they can reach the next level.

Beginner students are also encouraged to inquire about lesson availability, as Steve believes working with a full range of abilities challenges him to maintain a well-rounded teaching style.  Younger students who are interested will be admitted after an interview with the parents.

With both a classical and jazz background, Steve’s teaching method involves a rigorous study of music theory in the form of exercises that are later practically applied to playing and faking songs. Students will learn how to deal with scales and arpeggios vertically as well as horizontally. His approach to chords begins with organizing them from open to bar chords, then to moveable chords and inversions, and then finally to extensions. This practice enables students to have the background they need to effectively comp, play chord solos, and eventually fake.

By having students play arrangements and classical guitar pieces that Steve has transcribed or written for plectrum or pick-style guitar (in a style similar to Johnny Smith), students will learn to read in all positions and be able to transpose up an octave. This practice comes from Steve’s belief that in order to excel at improvisation, it’s important to have an understanding of music and how to handle phrasing, dynamics, etc. Further work on improvisation and comping will come in the form of learning jazz standards or music from The Great American Songbook.

Steve’s teaching method will improve students’ ability to play whatever style they desire, as he focuses on comprehensive musical knowledge, musicality, and a thorough mastery of the guitar.

To inquire about lesson availability, Steve can be contacted via phone at (410) 526-9034 or email at